5

If I have a directory of PPTX files I would like to save as PDFs. How do I script this operation?

2 Answers 2

4

Assuming you have PowerPoint installed, this is quite simple using Automator.

(I have Office 2011, so I'm unsure if this would work with 2008)

Start Automator, and create a new Folder Action, and choose the input folder (i.e.: the one containing the PPTX files)

From the Actions list, choose "Convert Format of PowerPoint Presentations". For the "New Format" option, choose "Portable Document Format".

Save it & close Automator, and you're done!

Any PPTX files saved in the chosen folder (either pre-existing, or any new ones you save from now on) will automatically be converted to PDF as an additional copy.

Hope this helps!

-U

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  • That pretty much worked. I'm new to Automator so it took me a while to figure it out. I had to save the Automator action as an Application and drop the PPTX files onto it.
    – Sajee
    Apr 21, 2012 at 0:34
2

You can use AppleScript to convert PowerPoint files to PDF documents, as described in my answer to a similar question here:

  1. Open Script Editor, select New Document and paste the script below. Make sure you adapt parts that are locale specific like "Sichern", "Vorschau" and the like to your local language ... and check for the latest version at https://github.com/WolfgangFahl/ppt2pdf

    on run (argv)
        log (count (argv))
        if ((count of argv) < 2) then
            log "usage: ppt2pdf basepath [filenames]"
        else
            my ppt2Pdf(argv)
        end if
    end run
    
    --
    -- convert PowerPoint to PDF on the given list of files
    --
    on ppt2Pdf(fileNames)
        log "launching Powerpoint ..."
        set pp to "Microsoft PowerPoint"
        tell application pp -- work on version 15.15 or newer
            launch
            set isfirst to true
            repeat with fileName in fileNames
                if isfirst then
                    set basepath to fileName
                    log "base path is " & basepath
                    set isfirst to false
                else
                    if fileName ends with ".ppt" or fileName ends with ".pptx" or fileName ends with ".pptm" then
                        set filePath to basepath & "/" & fileName
                        -- set filePath to POSIX path of fileAlias
                        set pdfPath to my makeNewPath(filePath)
                        log "trying to convert powerpoint file " & filePath & " to " & pdfPath
                        open filePath
    
                        -- save active presentation in pdfPath as save as PDF 
                        -- save in same folder
                        -- https://macscripter.net/viewtopic.php?id=26342
                        --tell application "System Events"
                        --  set listOfProcesses to (name of every process where background only is false)
                        --  tell me to set selectedProcesses to choose from list listOfProcesses with multiple selections allowed
                        --end tell
                        --repeat with processName in selectedProcesses
                        --  log processName
                        --end repeat
    
                        if not my chooseMenuItem(pp, "Datei", "Drucken...") then
                            error number -128
                        end if
    
                        --my showUiElements(pp, "menu button")
                        -- my waitFor(button whose description is "PDF", 5, 0.5)
                        my choosePopUp(pp, "Layout für den Druck", "Notizen")
                        my choosePopUp(pp, "Farbausgabeformat", "Farbe")
                        --my chooseMenuButtonItem(pp, "PDF", "Als PDF sichern")
                        local myTitle
                        tell application "System Events"
                            -- the magic of Applescript
                            -- if you really want the title and not a reference to it you need to use an operator
                            -- http://books.gigatux.nl/mirror/applescriptdefinitiveguide/applescpttdg2-CHP-12-SECT-5.html
                            set myTitle to title of window 1 of process pp & ""
                        end tell
                        my chooseMenuButtonItem(pp, "PDF", "In Vorschau öffnen")
                        delay 5
                        tell application "System Events"
                            log "waiting for Vorschau to display " & myTitle
                            set timeLeft to my waitForAppearWindow(myTitle, process "Vorschau", 30, 0.5)
                            if timeLeft < 0 then
                                log "Vorschau " & myTitle & " window didn't show up after 30 secs"
                                error number -128
                            else
                                log "Vorschau appeared with " & timeLeft & "secs left"
                                tell process "Vorschau"
                                    delay 0.2
                                    click menu item "Als PDF exportieren …" of menu 1 of menu bar item "Ablage" of menu bar 1
                                    delay 0.5
                                    -- CMD-SHIFT-G to set the export director
                                    -- https://dougscripts.com/itunes/itinfo/keycodes.php
                                    keystroke "g" using {command down, shift down}
                                    delay 0.2
    
                                    tell sheet 1 of window (myTitle)
                                        tell sheet 1
                                            -- dereference basePath
                                            local basePathStr
                                            set basePathStr to basepath & ""
                                            set value of first combo box to basePathStr
                                            delay 0.2
                                            click button "Öffnen"
                                            delay 0.2
                                        end tell
                                        click button "Sichern"
                                        set timeLeft to my waitForAppear(sheet 1, 3, 0.2)
                                        tell sheet 1
                                            if timeLeft > 0 then
                                                click button "Ersetzen"
                                            end if
                                        end tell
                                        delay 5
                                        keystroke "q" using {command down}
                                    end tell
    
                                end tell
                            end if
                        end tell
    
                        --tell application "System Events"
                        --  set timeLeft to my waitForAppear("button", button "Sichern" of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of window 1 of process pp, 5, 0.5)
                        --  if timeLeft < 0 then
                        --      log "Sichern button didn't show up after 5 secs"
                        --      error number -128
                        --  end if
                        --  click button "Sichern" of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of window 1 of process pp
                        --end tell
    
                        --tell application "System Events"
                        --  delay 0.5
                        --  try
                        --      set timeLeft to my waitForAppear("button", button "Ersetzen" of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of window 1 of process pp, 5, 0.5)
                        --      if timeLeft < 0 then
                        --          log "Ersetzen button didn't show up after 5 secs"
                        --          error number -128
                        --      end if
                        --      click button "Ersetzen" of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of sheet 1 of window 1 of process pp
                        --  end try
                        --end tell
                        log "done ..."
                        -- close filePath
                    end if
                end if
            end repeat
            -- still in tell powerpoint context
            --tell application "System Events"
            --  delay 0.5
            --  try
            --      set timeLeft to my waitForVanish("window", window "Sichern" of process pp, 60, 1)
            --      if timeLeft < 0 then
            --          log "print dialog didn't vanish after 60 secs"
            --          error number -128
            --      end if
            --  end try
            --end tell
            quit
        end tell
    end ppt2Pdf
    
    on showElement(uiElem)
        local className
        set className to class of uiElem as string
        log (((«class pDSC» of uiElem as string) & "=" & value of uiElem as string) & "(" & className) & ")"
    end showElement
    
    --
    -- show all UI elements
    --
    on showUiElements(appName, filterClassName)
        tell application "System Events"
            tell process appName
                tell (1st window whose value of attribute "AXMain" is true)
                    repeat with uiElem in entire contents of it as list
                        try
                            local className
                            set className to class of uiElem as string
                            if filterClassName is missing value or className is filterClasssname then
                                log (((description of uiElem as string) & "=" & value of uiElem as string) & "(" & className) & ")"
                            end if
                        end try
                    end repeat
                end tell
            end tell
        end tell
    end showUiElements
    
    --
    -- wait for the given element to appear
    --
    on waitForAppearWindow(elementName, parentElement, time, slice)
        set timeLeft to time
        set appeared to false
        repeat until (appeared) or timeLeft ≤ 0
            try
                set appeared to window elementName of parentElement exists
            end try
            delay slice
            log "."
            set timeLeft to timeLeft - slice
        end repeat
        log timeLeft
        return timeLeft
    end waitForAppearWindow
    
    --
    -- wait for the given element to appear
    --
    on waitForAppear(element, time, slice)
        set timeLeft to time
        set appeared to false
        repeat until (appeared) or timeLeft ≤ 0
            try
                set appeared to element exists
            end try
            delay slice
            log "."
            set timeLeft to timeLeft - slice
        end repeat
        log timeLeft
        return timeLeft
    end waitForAppear
    
    ---
    --- wait for the given element to vanish
    ---
    on waitForVanish(element, time, slice)
        set timeLeft to time
        try
            repeat while (exists element) and timeLeft > 0
                delay slice
                log "."
                set timeLeft to timeLeft - slice
            end repeat
        end try
        log timeLeft
        return timeLeft
    end waitForVanish
    
    
    on chooseMenuButtonItem(appName, buttonName, itemName)
        tell application "System Events"
            tell process appName
                tell window 1
                    local win1
                    set win1 to it
                    tell sheet 1
                        log "choosing " & itemName & " of menu button " & buttonName
                        tell menu button buttonName
                            click
                            delay 0.1
                            tell menu 1
                                click menu item itemName
                            end tell
                        end tell
                    end tell
                end tell
            end tell
        end tell
    end chooseMenuButtonItem
    --
    -- choose a popup 
    --
    on choosePopUp(appName, buttonName, itemName)
        tell application "System Events"
            tell process appName
                tell window 1
                    tell sheet 1
                        log "choosing " & itemName & " of pop up menu " & buttonName
                        --repeat with pbutton in pop up buttons
                        --  local pbutton1
                        --  set pbutton1 to pbutton
                        --  log description of pbutton & "=" & value of pbutton
                        --end repeat
                        tell (1st pop up button whose description is buttonName)
                            click it
                            delay 0.5
                            pick menu item itemName of menu 1
                        end tell
                    end tell
                end tell
            end tell
        end tell
    end choosePopUp
    
    --
    -- https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/documentation/
    -- LanguagesUtilities/Conceptual/MacAutomationScriptingGuide
    -- AutomatetheUserInterface.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40016239-CH69-SW17
    --
    on chooseMenuItem(theAppName, theMenuName, theMenuItemName)
        try
            -- Bring the target app to the front
            tell application theAppName
                activate
            end tell
    
            -- Target the app
            tell application "System Events"
                tell process theAppName
    
                    -- Target the menu bar
                    tell menu bar 1
    
                        -- Target the menu by name
                        tell menu bar item theMenuName
                            tell menu theMenuName
    
                                -- Click the menu item
                                log "clicking " & theMenuItemName
                                click menu item theMenuItemName
                            end tell
                        end tell
                    end tell
                end tell
            end tell
            return true
        on error
            return false
        end try
    end chooseMenuItem
    
    
    
    on makeNewPath(f)
        set t to f as string
        if t ends with ".pptx" or t ends with ".pptm" then
            return (text 1 thru -5 of t) & "pdf"
        else
            return (text 1 thru -4 of t) & "pdf"
        end if
    end makeNewPath
    
  2. Save the file as ppt2pdf.scpt, for example to a subfolder named bin in your home directory.

  3. Open TextEdit and paste this (correct the path to ppt2pdf.scpt as necessary):

    #!/bin/bash
    # use current path as base path
    osascript $HOME/bin/ppt2pdf.scpt $(pwd) $@
    

    (In the code above, $HOME is a shell variable that points to your home directory.)

  4. Save the file as ppt2pdf, for example to $HOME/bin.

  5. make it executable with

    chmod +x $HOME/bin/ppt2pdf
    

Now, to convert PowerPoint files to PDF documents, open Terminal, change directory to the folder where the PowerPoint files are located, and run:

$HOME/bin/ppt2pdf *.pptx

or just

ppt2pdf *.pptx

if your $HOME/bin directory is part of your $PATH

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